By Neil Winsor
Photograph supplied by Lee Myers
Photo: The 2017 Bootiful Game NCEL Premier Division Player of the Year Josh Batty in action earlier this season
THE newly crowned Bootiful Game NCEL Premier Division Player of the Year for 2017, Josh Batty has revealed his surprise at scooping the award when he spoke to the club’s official website this afternoon.
The former Doncaster Rovers and Gainsborough Trinity striker was an integral part of Hall Road Rangers championship winning squad last term, and has continued his form in terms of consistency into the new season.
Batty won the award with 34% of the 853 votes cast, seeing off a plethora of players who could also lay claim to the award, such as the likes of AFC Mansfield goal-machine Ollie Fearon, Brett Lovell (Penistone) and Jack Greenhough (Pontefract Collieries) who were the other shortlisted finalists.
The Hall Road striker though has endeared himself to the club and his two goals at Campion on the last day of last season, are well documented and provided Hall Road Rangers with one of their greatest moments in the club’s history, winning the NCEL First Division title in April.
Although pleased with the award, speaking this afternoon, Batty was of the belief there were others at Rangers, and in the division at other clubs he believed were more worthy when he said:-
“Personally although I am obviously pleased to win the award, I thought they were a few other players in the league that deserved to win it a lot more than me though.
I especially thought a few of our own lads, who have been outstanding all of last season and also the first half of this season, we’ve had a great year as a club and it’s nice to be recognised as a part of that.”
Batty who joined Rangers from Winterton in October 2016 has netted 25 times in all competitions since then, also expanded on the award.
“Obviously I am greatful to everyone who voted for me and also the gaffer, Bill Gill and Andy Watts for giving me the game time all season.
They let me go out and express myself.”
Although currently midway through a four game suspension, Rangers supporters may have to wait until the trip to Bridlington Town to see Batty next in action, who was in red hot form prior to his second red card of the season in the home defeat against Liversedge.
The 21 year old has also revealed his frustrations at his own disciplinary record, but added there is a lot more to come from him in 2018 as he looks for more game time by keeping on the pitch for the entire game.
“I’m wanting to provide more goals and more assists and get the team as high as possible in the league moving into the new year.
Also I think it goes without saying and something without doubt we can all agree on, and that is I need to stay on the pitch for the 90 minutes and cut out the red cards, as I cannot influence games when I’m stood on the balcony or sat in the stand.”
Batty also joked, “Think I need to do it (staying on the pitch) more for the chairman before he (Darren Sunley) loses his head with me and tells me to get gone, even though he’ll never do that he loves me!”
Hall Road Rangers get their 2018 underway this Saturday with the visit of Bottesford Town to Haworth Park for a 3pm kick off